Pappardelle with Fennel Infused Crsipy Pork Belly & a Rich Spicy Red Wine Sauce

With the cooler weather gradually approaching, hearty yet simple meals are a requisite to keep us feeling warm and cosy. This week’s gourmet dish is sure to do just that, whilst allowing us a taste of warmer climates.

The crispy pork belly and rich red wine sauce pasta recipe is brought to us by celebrated foodie and photography blog, ‘What Katie Ate’. Infused with strong Italian flavours whilst using fresh ingredients, the recipe offers an easy-to-make taste of gastronomy.

Perfect to impress at dinner parties, or even as a filling meal for the family, the dish includes a garlic, passata, red chili and red wine sauce for an authentic take on Italian cooking. Combined with pappardella pasta, free-range bacon and free-range pork belly, the recipe is topped with a sprinkling of pecorino cheese and basil for classic cooking with a rustic twist.


0.85kg Free-range pork belly
3 teaspoons fennel seeds
Good pinch sea salt flakes, crumbled
Freshly ground black pepper
3-4 tablespoons light olive oil
10 large vine tomatoes
1 large brown onion, peeled and finely diced
4 plump garlic cloves, peeled and minced
250g free-range bacon, trimmed and cut into small pieces/cubes

1.5 cups good quality, gutsy Shiraz (or similar) red wine
2 long red chilli’s, deseeded and finely chopped
Good handful basil leaves, torn
700g passata
400g pappardelle pasta
Baby basil leaves to garnish
Grated Pecorino to serve


Pre-heat oven to 240˚C

Using a sharp knife, cut pork belly into small cubes (about 2cm). Add to a mixing bowl then add the fennel seeds, a pinch of salt, some freshly ground black pepper and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Coat pork cubes thoroughly, then turn out onto a non-stick metal baking tray. Place in oven and cook for 15 minutes, then reduced oven temp to 180˚C. Roast in oven for 45-50 minutes or until pork it crispy. Drain pork on paper towel and set aside.

When oven temp has been reduced to 180˚as above, cut tomatoes in half widthways and place cut-side up onto a baking tray lined with parchment. Season with salt and black pepper. Roast in oven alongside pork for 1.5 hours ~ note the pork will be ready 30 mins before tomatoes.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large frypan over medium-low heat, add onions. Cook, stirring often for 2-3 minutes, add minced garlic and continue to fry together for a few more minutes, taking care not to get the garlic burn. Add bacon and fry until golden brown. Pour in 1/2 cup wine to deglazed the pan, scraping up all the bits from the bottom of the pan, followed by the chopped chilli, passata and torn basil leaves.

Carefully add roasted tomatoes to a blender and whizz until smooth, add to the tomato sauce along with the remaining wine and half the roasted pork cubes. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes to infuse all flavours and allow the sauce to thicken slightly.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water one minute less than packet instructions so it is al-dente.

Add remaining pork cubes to tomato sauce and stir to heat through.

Combine cooked pasta with tomato sauce then serve hot with grated pecorino and baby/micro basil leaves.